My 944 Turbo S

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I purchased my 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo S from a dealership in Pennsylvania in February 2007. Built at the Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart, Germany, the car was originally delivered to and bought in Virginia; however, it made its way up to Pennsylvania (to its second owner – a Porsche dealer) where it was put up for sale. I found the car online in 2007, and bought it in early February of that year. Although the car was destined for Canada, the Turbo S was built to US spec, and so the speedometer reads in miles per hour. The car was bought with just over 61 000 miles, and came with a complete service history (it was most thoroughly documented, as far back as the original service records stamped by the Virginia dealership in the maintenance booklet). In fact, the service records were so extensive that they included the car’s original window sticker.

Although the car is mostly stock, a few notable upgrades have been acquired over the car’s previous ownerships. In stock trim the car has 247bhp, however with the ECU having been modified by Weltmeister, and a K&N air filter having been installed, the car’s output is raised to a claimed 295bhp. Likewise, the ECU tuning has increased the torque by a notable degree, allowing for better acceleration and more top-end torque (above 4500 RPM). The ECU modifications also remove the top speed limiter, which allows the car to reach its aerodynamically limited top speed of 177 mph (approximately 285 km/h). Other modifications on the Turbo S include new (in 2007) CYRO-S brake rotors and pads by Zimmermann, which complement the big S-4 four piston brake units that are standard on the 944 Turbo S. Otherwise, the rest of the vehicle is stock, save an updated OEM clutch (which does without the fragile rubber components that plagued the original units). Contrary to popular assumption, the Koni “Yellow” adjustable suspension is stock on the 944 Turbo S (option 474 on the standard Turbo).

Twist the key and the 8 valve SOHC in-line 4, with aluminum block and heads, roars to life. A small blip of the throttle excites the intercooled KKK K-26 #8 turbocharger under-hood, however it remains quiet, quite unlike the typically obnoxious (although not necessarily undesirable) noise one often associates with turbocharged engines. The exhaust note is raw but refined – this is most certainly a Porsche. The adjustable suspension (Koni “Yellows”) set the car in an aggressive stance, and the road is gripped well by 225 front and 245 rear tires respectively. The tires are mated to 16″ Porsche forged alloy Club Sport wheels, which gives the car a 911-esque appearance, but also allow for better brake ventilation than the “Phone Dial” wheels of the 1986-88 Porsche 944 Turbo. A limited slip differential as standard helps to keep the rear end in check under hard acceleration, and the nearly perfect 50/50 (49/51 front to rear) weight distribution (achieved by the transversely mounted gearbox) ensures superb cornering stability, allowing the car to pull .90+Gs on the skid pad with stock tires.

Like all 944 Turbos, the Turbo S features the more aggressive (and more practical) front end, which provides for better ventilation into the intercooler. The car features all the standard Turbo body components such as the rear valance and rocker panels, which adds to aerodynamic prowess and assists the car to its limited top speed of 260km/h (and to an aerodynamically limited 285 km/h). The Velvet Red Metallic exterior compliments the Turbo S’s aggressive styling, which looks superb from a distance or up-close, especially considering the generally excellent condition of the paint. The paint-color, a 1989 only metallic option, besides being a rare color, is very dynamic; the color fluctuates between a vibrant red and deep purple, and wonderfully reflects light sources and colors (a testament to the quality of Porsche paint). The interior is all black. The seats are leather and leatherette (as was standard on the 1989 944 Turbo S), and the carpets and headliner are also black. Although the vehicle came with the stock stereo, it was necessary to replace it with a newer, more functional model. Besides the new head-unit, the rest of the interior is stock, including the airbag steering wheel featured on the later 944 models.

The Turbo S is a fantastic car to drive. The engine is extremely responsive, and the torque curve means that there is a notable degree of power available without relying on the turbocharger. However, once the car reaches peak torque (whereupon the turbocharger’s output is maximized), the acceleration of the car is nothing short of breathtaking. With its numbing acceleration, a good flick of the wheel can upset the rear grip; however, a slight counter steer adequately compensates; as noted by magazine tests in 1988, the Turbo S is extremely controllable, much more-so than the rear-heavy 911 of its vintage. Thus, while the 944 Turbo S enjoys almost the same handling characteristics as the critically acclaimed normally aspirated 944 (assisted by the nearly perfect weight distribution), the car is also one of the outright fastest cars on the road (even by modern standards).

Overview:

  • 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo (S)
  • 62,000 miles (as of September 12, 2007)
  • Velvet Red Metallic
  • Leather/Leatherette (black)
  • Originally a U.S. car

Engine:

  • 8 valve SOHC in-line 4, aluminum block and heads (engine type: M 44/52)
  • Displacement: 2,479cc
  • Bore: 100 mm
  • Stroke: 78.9 mm
  • Compression Ratio: 8.0:1
  • Max rpm: 6,500
  • Max boost: 1.82 Bar
  • Fuel system: Bosch LE Jetronic (Weltmeister chip tuned ECU)

Suspension:

  • Front: MacPherson struts with lower A-arms, coil springs, tube shocks, anti-roll bar
  • Rear: Semi-trailing arms, torsion bars, tube shocks, anti-roll bar
  • M474 sport suspension option (Koni): strut assemblies, strut boots, bump stops, adjustable shock absorbers (stock)

Brakes:

  • Zimmermann CYRO-S rotors
  • Aluminum S-4 calipers
  • Vibration dampers
  • 4 piston arrangement

Wheels:

  • Club Sport forged aluminum wheels – 16×7.0″ front, 16×8.0″ rear

Equipment Options:

  • M030 – Club Sport Package
  • M220 – Limited Slip Differential (40%)
  • M454 – Automatic Speed Control
  • M490 – Hi-fi Sound Package
  • M533 – Anti-theft Device
  • M573 – Air Conditioning
  • M593 – ABS
  • M946 – Leather/Leatherette Seats

Performance:

  • Horsepower – 247 bhp @ 6000 rpm (295 bhp estimated with chip tune)
  • Torque – 258 ft-lb @ 4000 rpm (270+ ft-lb estimated with chip tune)
  • 0-100km/h – 5.5 (5.2 estimated with chip tune)
  • 0-160km/h – 13.6 (13.0 estimated with chip tune)
  • Top speed – 260 km/h (limited) (280 km/h delimited)

Audio:

Pictures:

flickr gallery link View Flickr Photostream

[Note]Refer to the appendices, specifically the My 944 Turbo S category, for the latest information pertaining to my 944 Turbo S, including drives, events, pictures, and track days.


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